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  CNN    Larry King Live    News/Business. Interviews  
   with newsmakers and viewer calls.  

    September 13, 2010
    12:00 - 12:58am EDT  

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being the only -- to mention carl marx and leon trotsky in public. thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. we'll see you next week.
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he's been imam of the mosque in lower manhattan for 27 years. he plans to build an islamic community center called cordoba house a few blocks from ground zero. these plans have generated a national debate over tolerance, sensitivity, religion an d sparked emotional protests against the project. the imam joins us from new york. he's with cnn's soledad o'brien. he agreed to sit down for an rt interview, in part, because ki soledad is working on a documentary about what it's like to be muslim in america. here's soledad o'bri with the imam. >> all right, larry.
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thank you very much. imam, thank you very much for talking with us. >> thank you, soledad. >> you're just back from the middle east. you've been gone for about two months. and you've been pretty quiet about the controversy that has been raging about the proposed struure right near ground zero.ve the debate, while you've been a gone, has gotten louder, and it's gotten angrier. why are you lking now?th >> well, i didn't think it was appropriate for me to speak about this while i was overseas on the trip. i felt i wanted to come home and speak to this issue from my home cotry, from my homeland, from my home base. >> you've had questions while you've been in the middle east about the controversy that's swirling in lower manhattan. what kinds of things are people there asking you about what's happening here?nc
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>> well, they're very concerned about many things. the 'rconcerned about the status of muslims in america. and in the gulf, where i was, a very important part for our own national security, 5 bahrain is the home of the 5th fleet. we have a very important naval base there. attar is the place of an important air base that we have there. and the concerns of people there e both about what this means not only witn the united states, but what this means also for them. >> what the debate means, you mean? >> yes, indeed. because the united states -- we are the only global superpower today. what happens here has enormous impact over the rest of the world. people all over the muslim world keadmire america. love america. take america as an example in many, many respects. and the status of muslims in america anhow american muslims speak to these issues and how america engagewith its muslim community has glal ramifications.
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>> and the big debate really is over how muslims have engaged with the american community. you're living that right now. so let's walk back to the very onginning. when did you sett tle upon this location, which is just about two bloc north of ground zero, for your new islamic cultural center? f emy that particulaspot? >> first, i must remind f everybody i've been imam of a mosque just ten blocks from that spot, 12 blocks from ground zero. i've been serving that community and that neighborhood for the last quarter of a century. when 9/11 happened, we couldn't reach our mosque in the tribeca area. you know, and finally we came back. there was flowers, letters. we're part of this community. i've served this commu. and this is a community that i have worked for so long and is important for us as muslims, as muslims who are in lower manhattan, to want to give back to the city and the country that's given us so much. >> so why that particular spot? >> well, what happened was sharif el gamel, the owner of so properts, a member of my
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congregation, has noticed how our -- the need for prayer space has expanded. he felt a commitment to do something for his community. and he found this particular building, and he negotiated it, acquired it and offered it for us to use and to establish a center that would be the space for a vision that i've had for over a decade or 15, almost 20 years, which is to establish a space which embodies the fundamental beliefs that we have as jews, christians and muslims, which is to love our god and to love our neighbor. to build a space where we'll have a culture oworship. and at the same time, get to f know each other and to forge personal bonds because that's how a society, how a community is built. and how we can create somethingw that will snowball to push back agnst the radical discourse that has just hijacked the
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discourse in our country and in much of the world. >> what's been created has snowballed a little bit. there's a lot of anger and hostility at that site. and usthere are many people who have said, why not just go somewhere else?>> u >> i understand the sensivity of the people. i really do. i'm very, very concerned about it. we've reached out and are still reaching out to 9/11 families. >> did you reach out to them before? >> yes. >> to all the families? >> not to all the families but to as many as we could reach,
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especially those who are very concerned about this issue. >> before you started the proposal? >> no, not before we started, but once this thing happened. i have to remindhe audience that this story first broke last december in "the new york times. it was a front page article in "the new york times." and noer one objected. this controversy only began in y. and it began as a result of some politicians who decided to userp this for certain political purposes. and this is when it began to snowball, soledad. >> so you think it's been politicized? >> absolutely. this is very dangerous and or tragic for two reasons. reason number one is that it goes against the fundamental nc american principle of sepation of church and state. this concept of separation of religion and politics or church and state has a wisdom behind it. and the purpose behind iis not to politice religion. because when you politicize religion, it is dangerous. >> but ultimately, when you look at the polls, something like 71%
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of americans think that even though there's a rhtig to bud there a center that will include a mosque and ather things, which we'll talk about in a minute, the wisdom of it may not be there. >> well, here's the -- >> is that political or is that just people saying it's sensitivitywise, it's the wrong thing to do? >> i am extremely concerned with sensitivity. but i also have a responsibility. if we move from that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse. the headlines in the muslim world will be that islam is under attack. and i'm less concerned about the radicals in america than i'm concerned about the radicals in the muslim world. >> but isn't that also saying you're less concerned about the voices of opposition here?
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>> no, no, no, no. i'm sorry. i don't mean it that way. i meant that the danger from the radicals in the muslim world to our national securi, to the national security of our troops and i -- i have a niece who works ind the army and served i iraq. the concern for american citizens who live and work and travel overseas will increasingly be compromised if the radicals are strengthened. and if we do move, it will strengthen the argument of the radicals to recruit, their ability to recruit, and their increasing aggression and violence against our country. >> there are ground zero families that i've spoken to who
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are on all sides of the debate. they're not of one voice, as you well know. they've said, but what about me? i can't find my son's body. and they want to build a mosque on a spot where he might be. >> well, first of all, this is not the -- this is not that spot. this is not ground zerproper. this is -- >> it's two blocks. >> yes. no one's body is in that location. i'm very sensitive to those feelings. as an imam, as any religious person does, we have to minister to the pain and hurt of our congregations and our ministry and our communities. and it is part of our intention. this is why we're reaching out more to 9/11 families. we would like to have a memorial in this center for 9/1 families. we -- we have not finalized all our plans yet. we're willing to sit down and engage and do something that will help us heal. you cannot heal a trauma by walking away from it. weave to sit down. we have to talk about it. we have to dialogue about it. and find a way to move through it and beyond it. >> we're going to take a short
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break. when we come back, we'll tk about some of those plans and e is any room er for changing your mind or is it the plan's going to move forward. back in just a moment. to save me a boatload of money on my mortgage -- that would be awesome! [sarcastically] sure. like that will happen. don't just think about it. spend 10 minutes at lendingtree and ve up to $272 a month. [ male announcer ] it's luxury with fire in its veins.
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welcome back, everybody. we're talking to imam feisal and we'll continue our conversation. did you think this was going to be controversial? are you surprised? >> yes. >> really? >> yes. as i said, the story first came out in -- last december in "the new york times." no one objected. >> is it an indication that the bridges you've been building maybe aren't such strong bridges? and i know you talk about being a bridge builder a lot. if you weren't aware of the controversy that would follow? >> well, as i mentioned, the story first broke out last
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december. it was front page news in "the new york times." no one objected to our establishing such a center. rabbi arthur schneider was quoted. the rabbi of the jewish community center, with whom we had spoken and who welcomed the idea and who has given us enormous cooperation and support in telling us what works, what doesn't work, how to do this. led, is toe idea, so establish something like a musl "y." you have the ymca was created 130 years ago to improve relationships between what was then called the american protestant religions, by having young men and young women -- of course, it was separate at the o time, ymca, ywca, come and bond by doing sports together and other programs together. it's been a worldwid phenomenon. the 92nd street "y" was the first attempt by the jewish center where you would create th kind of bonding. we are now, today, where the jewish community and the catholic community was maybe 70 years ago, a century ago. and this is our time and our turno do that. a christian friend of mine once said, you know, i have no reason
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to go to a synagogue. by going te 92nd street "y" and by doing its programs, i've learned far more about jewish culture. gotten to make many jewish friends. and it has opened my eyes to many things. >> there have been -- >> so we need to do something like this. because the need today is to build those type of relationships. to forge those bonds that would help us create an atmosphere of peace. >> but doesn't the controversy that has happened now work against that? isn't that exactly the opposite
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of what you're striving for? >> in some ways, yes. but in some ways, it's a silver lining here. >> how is it a silver lining? >> giving us an opportunity to speak out this subject in a manner that is sober. in a manner that is coherent. to look at what are all about as americans. to looat what it means to be muslim in america. to look at how we are going to -- to put back this genie of clash between the west and muslim world back into the bottle. >> there are plenty of muslims, as i've been doing research, who have said is debate does not help us. this debate makes things more dangerous for us. s is debate hurts us, what's t happening at ground zero. >> there is no doubt that this has become such a situation. and i'm deeply sensitive to that and very concerned about that. and, younow, had i known this would happen, we certainly would never have done this. >> you would never have picked that spot? >> we would -- we would not have done something that would create more divisiveness. >> then why is it hard to back up and say, and now that we've done it, let's undo it. let's just say we won't. let's pick another spot stthat' been offered? >> as i just mentioned, our national security now hinges on how we negiate this.
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how we speak about it. and what we do. it is important for us now to raise the bar on our conversation -- "n >> what's the risk, when you say "national security"? what's the risk? >> as i ments iod, because, if we move, it means the radicals have shaped the discourse.di the radica will shape the discourse on both sides. and those of us who are moderates on both sides, you see, soledad, the battle front is not between muslims and n-muslims. the real battle front is between moderates on all sides of all ad the faith traditions and the radicals on all sides. the radicals actually feed off each other. and in some kind of a existential way, need each other. and the more that the radicals are able to control the discourse on one side, it strengthens the radicals on the other side and vice versa. we have to turn this around. >> let me play a question from an i-reporter.ka her name is kathy cornsend. she's in fullerton, california. >> why couldn't you find another place? i just feel like there's an ulterior motive. i knowha ft's probably wrong, but that's how i feel, and i think a lot of americans feel that way, too. that you want to upset us for some reason. is that true?
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>> no, it's not true. it is not our intention to create more conflict. this is our intention to say we, as muslims, we as american muslims, want to contribute to o the rebuildingf lower manhattan. we want to enhance relationships with our american non-muslim fellow countrymen. we want to forge better relationships. and we want to be part of the solution. not only want to be. we are ready.il we are willing. and we are able to be part of the solution. if the problem is perceived to lie in the muslim community, which definitely a certain amount of that is, if the at problem is pered a matter of religion, then we -- then the i solution also lies in our being engaged in this process. we are not going to achieve
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peace between the west and the muslim world without the engagement of muslims and western muslims in particular. >> it sounds like you're saying we're going to force a peaceful option. so i'll leave it there for a moment. we've got to take a short break. when we come back, we'll talk about that on the other side. back in a mome. i got into one of the best schools in the country! [ both screaming ] i got into one of the most expensive schools in the country! [ male announcer ] when stress gives you
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you can see the police cer there. that is the location of this proposed islamic center. i wathere sterday. people carrying placards are walking by. we're back with imam feisal. nice to have you. thank you. feisal, excuse me. nice to have you. wouldn't it further the goal of peacemaking? and you've talked a lot about it.
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to move it? why is that an option that's off the table now? >> nothing is off the table, soledad. >> it's not off the table? >> we are consulting, talking to various people about how to do this so that we negotiate the best and the safest option. as i mentioned -- >> what are those conversations like? what's on the table? >> the biggest issue is the national security issue. >> how do you pull out without looking like you've lost? >> without making it look like -- without making it look, both in this country and in the muslim world. you must remember, soledad, and ericans must remember, that what we do is watched all over the world. all over the world. and we are very engaged with the muslim worldvery engaged.r and our security is really number one. s our national sectrity, our personal security, is extremely important, and this issue has become now a national security issue. and, therefore, in our conversations, in our decision making process, we have to weiga
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in, many facto. anthat has been dominant among them.th >> is there a middle ground that has you pull out of the center and do something else? that's what it sounds like you're saying. is it possible? >> we are discussing many things right now but, you know, we haven't found, yet, an option that would work in a safe way. >> what are -- but you're considering it? >> as i said, we consider everything in life. but we have to be very cautious here because the voices of the radicals have ratcheted up, and we must make sure that the ve moderates take over the conversation. >> in ur op-ed in "the new york times," a lot of what you talked about were interfaith worship centers. >> yes. >> it's a change from what was
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on the website originally. is this a change in the face of the controversy? is this the negotiation? >> when i found the cordoba initiative after 9/11 in response to a perennial question was, how can we fix this relationship between the united states and the muslim world, i founded the cordoba initiative as a multifaith and a multinational initiative. it became very clear a very apparent that if we were going to do this, we have to have muslims and non-muslims in this country aninternationally cooperating together, addressing the fundamental causes that have caused this and are continuously fueling this >> but the controversy itself -- >> so the cordoba house -- >> -- isn't that causing to some degree an instability and a risk, a risk of safety? i mean, there's an address now that has become the flash point for a lot of aer. isn't that a risk to muslims and americans? >> there is a certain anger here, no doubt. but if you don't do this right, anger will explode in the muslim world.
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if this is not handl correctly, this crisis could become much bigger than the on danish cartoon crisis. which result in attacks danish embassies in varia much footprint in the muslim world. if we don't handle thicrisis correctly, it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous, indeed. >> do you ask yourself how did you miss that? i mean, it's been your life's mission. you and i have spoken in the past years. to build bridges and reach out. and yet, given what you know now, would you have built? >> as i mentioned it, this story is not new. people knew about it. >> right, but given what you have said, oulthd you listen, let's not dot there? because it sounds li you're saying in retrospect wouldn't
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have done it. >> well, yes. >> you would not have done it? w >> if i knew this would happen, this would cause this kind of pain, i wouldn't have done i my life has been devoted to peacemaking. >> there are so many people who say, so if you're saying it was a mistake, then why can't you get out of it and not do it? >> because we have to now make sure that whatever we do actually results igreater peace, not in greater cohenflic >> many of the things you've said over the last couple of years have been parsed, as you well know. i'm sure you've read yourself overnd over again over the last few years. we'll talk about some of the things you said. a "60 minutes" interview with ed bradley. hamas and your position on hamas. when we come back from the short break. >> by all means. see, expedia lets me mix and match airlines. so i can take one airline out... and another home. so with more flight options, i can find the combination that gets me there and back quickest.
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you're so popular. like prom queen. [ telephone rings ] [ male nnouncer ] want a great deal on car insurance? go to esurance. we're back talking with imal feisal. thank you for being with us. there are two mosques already in that region of ground zero. yours, as you pointed out, is
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about 12 blocks away from the actual ground zero, what people call the hole in the ground. i live downtown. i've seen it aot. then another one that's just about two blocks away. why do you think this structure's causing all this controversy now? >> well, there's a certain amou of anti-islamic sentiment in this country. >> why now? >> and we have seen it in the attacks upon mosques in various spots in the country in e last several weeks. h it is clear that this issue is not just about our center, which is an attempt to create petween muslims and non-muslims. but this has aroused a certain anti-islam sentiment wch is unfortunate in this coy. but we need to look at it. we need to have a discourse about it. and we need to make sure this doesn't dominate the discour between us.be
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because americans believe fundamentally and in a very fundamental and strong way abour freedom of religion, about separation of governments and churches, separation of church and state, which means the powent should not be used to coerce people to believin any religion. but it should be used to defend and protect religious rights and freedoms. so this is the conversation we need to have right now. >> about two weeks after 9/11, you were interviewed by ed bradley on "60 minutes." i want to play a little chunk of how that interview went. >> are you in any way suggdeti that we in the united states deserve what happened? >> i wouldn't say that the united states deserved what happened. but the united states' policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. >> you say we're an accessory? >> yes. >> how? >> because we have been an acceory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. in fact, in the most direct sense, osama bin laden is made in the usa. >> the, you ha said when people run that various snippet, that that is taken out of context. what's the context?as
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>> well, i was describing the fact that the united states had actually worked with the taliban, cooperated with the mujahadin. e mujahadin were vips during the reagan white house administration. and osama bin laden was something that we -- the united states cooperated with in fighting against the soviet union. however, looking back at it right now, i realize it was not a very compassionate thing to say and i regret having used those worlds. >> but do you believe that u.s. policies led to the world trade center being hit by planes, by terrorists? >> i -- >> you know, there's -- maybe shouldn't -- you feel it wasn't necessarily a politic thing to say, but do you think it's true? >> well, i mean, osama bin laden was something, you know, we had worked with before and we've seen what bin laden did. and the sentiment was bin laden
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certainly had shifted, and we see what has happened. and we have to understand what has happened in order to solve it. but the work that we have to do now is not about pointing fingers. >> people always say that to me. i don't want to point fingers, when they don't want to necessarily answer the question, which is do you think the u.s. was responsible for those attackon its own soil by terrorists?yi >> i was also trying to say, to share part of my re in bridge building, soledad, is like what i do when a marital coup comes to me, you know, when they've had some discordor counseling. and part of what i have to do is to speak the truth to each side or to tell them, when you say this, your husband hears that. when you, sir, when you say this, your wife hears that. it is part of my responsibility as a bridge builder to speak the truth about what's great about america, what we've done right, glorious our less moments. and many people feel the iraq adventure, for example, has been
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one of our less glorious moments. but unless we're able to look and speatruthfully, understand the issues, then the conversation is going to devolve into a situation where we're not going to be able to worknd build bridges towards peace.n the bigger conveioat wn and the more important one is how doe build peace? it's not that easy. >> but doesn't that bring us back around to the same thing? it is how to build peace to put a cultural cente islamic cultural center that will have a mosque that is angering so many people, that 71% of the country says is not the right thing to do, is that the right step to peace? >> first of all, we've always said there will be a dedicated prayer space for musli we do need. and we will have prayer space for christians and for jews. as i said, we have to build on our common platform. we need to build -- we need to build a space which creates and
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emphasizes a culture of worship. i, as a muslim, want you, as a christian, to really be a perfect christian.be i want my jewish friends to be perfect jews. to live accoing to the highest principles of what it means to be a jew, to be a christian, to be a muslim. >> there are many people who say that not what islam is about. i know we have to take a short break. when we come back on the other si, i wa to play for you a k chunk of whafranklin graham has said about islam and get your response to that because it's very tough and it's very harsh. so we're going to take a short break. we'll be back in just a moment.
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we're back with imam feisal. nice to have you.
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>> thank you. >> let's talk about money. $100 million was the price tag for this islamic cultural center. where are you going to get the money? >> well, we have yet to raise the capital campaign. >> you have no money for it yet? >> we have not raised any money for it yet. >> where will you get the money? >> we will get money from whatever sources we can, domestically, especially, and we're very transparent on how wee raised the money. this has been something we've committed ourselves to. >> meaning you will list whoever is giving you money? >> yes. >> will you turn down money from people who say, give money to hamas?
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>> absolutely. >> no question about it, anyone who supports hamas cannot give money to you? >> we will do whatever is absotely correct and legal and the safe thing to do. >> which means what exactly?, i mean, because that's -- that's an extra condition. >> you see, soledad, i'm the visionary behind it. i'm not the actual builder. i'm not the financial expert. m not the legal expert on these things. but i have a vision here o establishing something which i know in my heart of hearts will be a powerful instrument of peace. >> who would you n take money from? who wod you say, no, take it back? who would you turn it away from? >> we would turn away from anybody who is deemed to be a danger to this process. >> there have been a lot of nd ihink a fair amount of controversy and
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criticism about questions that people have had about your take on hamas. you were asked in an interview in the radio, the interviewer said, is the state department correct in danignating hamas as a terror group? and you dodged the question. you went on a long time, but there was really sort of no answer to it. le sense i guess peop that whatever that answer is, if you --f you don't condemn hamas, then in a way maybe you're supporting hamas as a terror organization. so iuess i'd ask that question again. do you -- you know, is the state department right in saying that hamas is a terrorist organization? >> i condemn everyone and anyone who commits acts of terrorism. and hamas has committed acts of terrorism. >> let's talk about islam. iawant to play you a chunk of what franklin graham, a leading christian, has said about your religion. >> the teaching of islam is -- is to hate the jew, to hate the christian, to kill theanm. their goal is world domination, and for the muslim, peace means when all the other nations are subject to islam, then we are at peace. the world will be at peace when the entire world is under islam. well, i don't agree with the teachings of islam. >> how do you respond to that? >> islam does not preach that at all. and the koran is quite specific. the koran says that whoever
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believes in goin the last day shall be saved. it's a religion whose very name islam is from the word shalom which means peace. it's about establishing peace. we greeth other with peace be un you. which the ws do in greeting each other. it's a religion based upon peace. but have there been people who have -- you know, muslims who have expressed such sentiments? yes, they have. >> the 9/11 hijackers said they were acting in the name of islam. y. that is a trave ths at is a travesty. just as the inquisitors, you know, in spain were committing a travty against the teachings of jesus christ. we do have people in our faith stcommunity who have committed travesties against the teachings of islam. this is part of the -- of the -- of the war or the battle within
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islam today. >> had moderate -- >> which has to be waged and which is being waged and which must be waged. >> have moderate muslims been vocal enough agast extremists? >> in the muslim world, there are many people who have been vocal, and we have been very vocal against extremists. but how to win this battle is an ongoing battle. and we must continue to wage the .attle for peace >> what is the likelihood, do you think, of another 9/11-type attack here? think of that. i hate to think of that. it >> but you've said security, national security, is of obviously great concern to you. >> it is of fundamental importance to us. i mean, look at what 9/11 did to our country. it traumatized the country. it has created a situation where muslims are under even greater suspicious. it is important for us to -- to change that discourse, to change that perception. and how can we change this perception, soledad, if we don't engage, if we don't dialogue, if we don't get to knowach other? >> engaging and dialogue and
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getting to know each other. right now, it's kind of a screaming match in front of a store front. >> because the radicals on both have taken over the discourse. >> but do you think --gain, when you look at -- when you ask your average american, 71% say that they think it's a bad ia. that the wisdom is not there in doing this. so are those people radicals? >> no. >> are they islamaphobic? >> no, it's because people are concerned. people want this problem to go away. i have been in this neighborhood for 25 years.
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i'll continue toe in this neighborhood after this thing dies down. mayor bloomberg was quoted as saying that he believes that the day after election day, th sty will go away. >> do yothink that's true? >> that's what he said. >> do you think that's true? >> i hope it'srue. i hope it dies down tomorrow. because we need this -- this dangous discourse to die down. we need to build bridges. to build relationships. to build friendships. and to build a new chapter in muslim/non-muslim relations. >> is this the right way to do that? >> how do u propose we do it? how do you propose we really engage?ow you know, soledad, we must -- look, this is a matter of engagement right now. how do we -- how do we continue engagement, is the question. >> but engagement where people are furious, people -- many people on both sides of the issue are furis. is that the kind of engagement
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and -- >> i ask, what is the solution? what is the solution to create an advancement of peace? we have to advance a discourse on peace. our politicians get it. >> isn't that the opposite of peace? two sides yelling at each other with placards two blocks from ground zero? which people i think here in new yorknd around the country would say that is sacred land. that is -- that's a special place for everyone in america. is tt -- is that a step toward peace there? >> well, as clyde haberman and many, many people have said, look at what exists in that neighbor hood. look at what exists around the corner. >> oh, i -- believe me, i live downtown so i know the or neighborhood very well. >> so let's be clear.la calling this particular block sacred ground and what exists there, there's, you know --. >> strip clubs and delis. i've been there a million times. i think when people call it sacred ground, they're saying something terrible happened on this spot and we can't -- >> we've got to be fair. you can't say a place that has p joints is sacred ground. we've got to be just. we've got to speak the truth. we've got to have justice for
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everybody. we're a country of justice for all. not justice for non-muslims only or some groups and not for others. this is what america's all about, soledad. we've got to really mean what we say and say what our values are truly about. this isn't. thdiscourse has been hijked by people who say no. >> but in that 71% of people, those are not extremists. >> i recognize that. this is why i'm on the show with you today. bowant to talk to these people. show them my face. rshow them what i'm about. show them my track record. i have been looked at evemery which way. every statement has been looked at, including that is from 30 years ago when i was a young man. i've committed myself to this -- let me tell you my story. new quaker hearty medleys. a whole new oatmeal loaded with delicious fruit, nuts, and four hearty whole grains, working together to make you amazing. does your breakfast
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let's talk about your past. you've been working for the state department or with the state department for many years, under the bush administration and now as well.? what exactly do u do? >> the state department has a visitors program, an exchange program where they send peoplll from this country, americans all over the world, to talk about things in latin america and various other subjects. and they also invite people from other parts of the world to th visit the united states to get to know the united states. >> that's a national security mission in a way? >> it's kind of an exchange visitors' program to get -- to build relationships between people in various professions, religions, et cetera, with their counterparts, with other people in other parts of the world. i've done about ha a dozen of these to various parts of the
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muslim world. >> you've heard about this pastor in florida, terry jones, who is proposing burning korans on/11. what do you think of that? w >> i would plead with him to seriously consider what he is doing. >> why? >> it's going to feed into the radicals in the muslim world. it's dangerous. general petraeus has said that. it is something which is not the right thing to do, on that ground. >> do you think he has a right to do it? >> and more importantly -- and more importantly -- well, we have freedom in this count, freedom of speech, but with freedom comes responsibility. it is a famous saying, you know, shots fired in a crowded theater. this is dangerous for our tingonal security but also is the un-christian thing to do. jesus christ didn't teach us to do that. we muslims have a -- we look to the example of our prophet. many christians say what would jesus do? jesus taught us to turn the s other cheek. jesus taught us to love your
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enemy. we are not your enemies. but this is what jesus taught us to do. and i would like to suggest that, you know, we all have to live by the highest principles of our faith traditions. as i mentioned, it's important -- i want chstians to live, to be perfected christians and i want muslims to be perfected muslims and jews to be perfected jews. if we don't do that, if we judge each ondther by the worst of th other's behavior and the best of our own, where are we going? >> on that note we'll take a short break. [ drums playing ] [ male announcer ] 306 horsepow. race-inspired paddle shifters. and f-sport-tuned suspension. all ailable on the new 2011 les is. it isn't real performance unless it's wielded with precision.
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we have time for one last question with imam feisal. can you unequivocally say we're going to build this calamic center at mosque as this location, two blocks from ground zero? >> we certainly hope to build a cordoba house vision of a multifaith center that will build relationships between muslims and non-muslims. >> there? >> on this night, my jewish friends are celebrating rosh hashanah, and i like to wish them a happy rosh hashanah, including larry king. on whose show we are tonight. and to wish them well. and at this peace, at this time, we need to build peace. peace is the name of our religion. peace is how muslims and jews greet each other. and jesus christ said blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of god. >> imam feisal, thanks for talking with us this evening. ba apprecie all your time. let's send it right back to larry king. larry? >> larry: thank you, soledad. outstandinjob. want to personally welcome piers morgan to the cnn family. thisrogram will continue through the end ofem